Archive for August, 2008

Knostrop Army Camp

August 31, 2008

Eric Janssen has made contacted from Belguim please see below, can anyone help provide further information on the Knostrop Army Camp?


I have been searching the Internet and writing letters and mails (in vain) to the Leeds Historical Section, the Army Cadet Forces, Territorial Army, the Leeds local newspaper…(none of these even answered my mail !) for information concerning the “Knostrop Army Camp”

Your article has given me a small ray of hope ?!


My maternal grandfather Major (Retd) Arnold LE PAGE was Quatermaster / Caretaker of the 154 W.E.T.C. (Week-End Training Camp) KNOSTROP from 1947 until his retirement in 1966.(He died in 1970). My grandparents lived in a house just outside the camp next to the guardroom – The camp commander was a Colonel (Retd) HARGRAEVES (I’m not sure of the spelling)


As my father was Belgian and my mother British, we didn’t live in England but visited my grandparents about every two years and all I can remember as a (10 -11- 12 year old) child is that the camp was located in Black Lane about a 10 minute drive from the town centre of Leeds.

From the Guard-Room you could see two huge cooling towers (similar to those in nuclear power stations) as well as a freight railway line used to transport coal.

The huts (Nissen type) were made of wood similar to those in the Pirbright Depot (which I know quite well having been there on several occasions to participate at the International Skill-at-Arms competition held there every year).

Many different units (probably Cadet Forces) such as The Black Watch came to this camp in the summer months (July/august) while we were on holiday.

There were also gun-pits (very similar to anti-aircraft gun positions) located uphill in the camp. I can remember going through these huts (after the cadets left) with my grandfather to check that everything was o.k., going through the empty lockers and finding bits & pieces left these such as badges, cuff-links, photographs, chocolate bars etc. These are unforgettable childhood memories Unfortunately those are all the details I can remember.

My quest is as follows:


As Knostrop meant a great deal to me during my childhood I would be most interested in any information whatsoever concerning this camp especially photographs and old Ordnance Survey maps of the area. (any costs would of course gladly be paid for).

Does it still exist ? If not what happened to it ?


Thanking you in advance for your kind cooperation,


            Yours sincerely

Eric Janssen

Maud’s Tales

August 1, 2008

blog-maudMaud’s East Leeds tale is one of a series of delightful little tales uncovered in an attic clearance. Maud is no longer with us but she was a Richmond Hill lass and I’m sure she would have been happy for us to enjoy her little tales. Speciel thanks to that wise unknown who had the foresight to write down these little tales and preserve them for us to read in the present in that which was for them the future. They are reproduced here in her own words, to do otherwise would be a crime. 

Maud’s Tale

Maud’s East Leeds tale is one of a series of delightful little tales uncovered in an attic clearance. Maud is no longer with us but she was a Richmond Hill lass and I’m sure she would be happy for us to enjoy her little tales. Special thanks to that wise unknown who had the foresight to write down these little tales and preserve them for us to read in the present in that which for them was the future. They are reproduced here in her own words; it would be a crime to do otherwise. 


Maud’s Tales

Long ago there was a little girl and she lived in Ellerby Lane and down Ellerby Lane there used to be a passage, down the passage there were some more houses all choc-a-block with kids, old women and funny old men. And they all had long gardens and in one of these garden houses lived, Lizzie. Well Lizzie, she were a right cough drop. Oh she were a right cough drop! During World War One there were a little girl and she had to go and queue up at the Maypole for some butter, cos you see her mother had to get her father off to work, so you see that little girl – which were me – had to stand in a queue at the Maypole till it got to my turn. And at the back were Lizzie. This Lizzie were queer you know, telling tales of her life and all about it like and there were a policeman on. Now this policeman, I don’t know what nationality were yon but he didn’t understand Yorkshire, he never knew first thing about Yorkshire and he was keeping us all in order ya see. And we were moving up and moving up and butter’s getting scarcer and we were still moving when Lizzie shouts, ‘I’ve lost me snick!’ So the policeman says, ‘Thee snick?’ He didn’t say ‘thee’ because he wasn’t from Yorkshire. ‘Your snick, miss, what’s a snick?’

            ‘Now get away,’ she said. ‘Now doesn’t thee know what a snick is?’

            ‘No’ he said, ‘It isn’t your purse?’

            ‘No ‘t isn’t me purse, I can do nowt without me snick. Oohh! What am I gonna do?’ And I were next to ‘er and I were a right good Maud you know, we got down on our hands and knees in t’ snow, piled up with snow we were, to find t’ snick. So policeman comes back and he says, ‘Now then – now then,’ he said, right nice you know cos he didn’t belong to Yorkshire, ‘Now then – now then, what’s this snick?

            ‘Doesn’t thee know what a snick is?’ she says, ‘It’s a thing that pulls in, shoves up and pulls out, before thou can open door.’

And then there were another one in Ellerby Lane. She came a long while after this one. ‘im and ‘er and two kids. Never washed they were, black as ace of spades, both kids.  They’d nowt you know, right poor souls. Anyway she’d got a bit of money left, did wife. They hadn’t a bit of carpet at all and they went out and bought a blasted Hoover and they hadn’t a bit of carpet nowhere to be seen. And then he says, ‘I’ve bought her an evening dress. Well an evening dress, she never had a pinny on before. Well she put her evening dress on, all dressed up and her next door neighbour comes to me and she says,  ‘Well, what do you think Maud?’

            I says, ‘I don’t know.’

            She says, ‘ Bought her an evening dress.’

            I says, ‘Aye I, I reckon so.’

            And she says, ‘An she’s had to borrow a pair of knickers to go underneath it!’

We didn’t have washing machines then or spin driers you know. You took your clothes to the laundry and come home and hung em up to dry or had a bagwash – took ‘em to laundry and came and picked ‘em up afterwards. I got a lovely pair of curtains stolen. I never got them back, no. He swore I never sent ‘em. They were goodens an all. I never got nowt for ‘em. I had a larger or two that morning but I’m sure I wasn’t as bad as that?       

The best bit of fun were at pawn shop – top of Ellerby Lane. One poor women, she had nowt to take, see, but she’d been to butchers and got half a side of lamb. True tale this. It’s a long time ago but it’s true. She got this half side of lamb from the butchers and wrapped it up and the pawnbroker man was so used to seeing her he never used to examine her parcels. So he gave her the same as last week and put her parcel on the shelf. Well, weeks go on and all of a sudden the gasman comes up. Summat wrong with the drains. Well they had all the pavement up and everything. They were that bet with it. Then one day this pawnbroker, he was looking around and he says, ‘You know I think it’s coming from here, and it were lamb on top shelf. So she daren’t go there anymore and had to go to one up Richmond Hill.

            We always had tingalari man. Aye but I loves a bit of good music. We’d have a penneth of chips and be sitting outside singing Pasadena with the tingalari, up Ellerby lane, where the grass is greener. And there would always be a couple of lovers under the shop window. You know but we were lovely when we were young weren’t we? We didn’t have scraggy hair did we? And we didn’t wear breeches.


Maud is a star is she not? I have more East Leeds tales. I have even more of Maud’s tales, but is anybody interested? Is there anybody out there? Please giver me a sign!

is this site

(Don’t forget the back slash at the end – folk often do)


Would do fine